Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  September 4, 2014 12:00am-1:01am EDT

12:00 am
12:01 am
the american homeland. it was chilling for all of us beheading of jim foley and steven sotloff. i was reminded of another beheading of danny pearl. that was done by mohamed, the principal operational architect of 9/11. it's the same etiology, just a lot more capability. >> ryan and i were reminiscing about being in beirut together 32 years ago during the lebanonese civil war. and one of the things i learned from that experience was watching the marines come into lebanon. one of the conclusions i drew from that experience is when you have no political center then everyone is aside. and the minute you intervene in beirut 30 years ago when there was no political center, the marines became another side. in fact the lebanonese used to call them the american militia. what ryan's suggesting or what i was suggest in my column today is without an iraqi in effect national unity coalition of sunnis, kurds and shiites, that we can be fighting for that to defend iraqi national unity and
12:02 am
pluralistic future, not fighting on behalf of the shiites and let alone the shiites backer ruin. >> rose: one conclude with the film the cosmopolitans. >> hey you think es downstairs. >> no. they will arrive at any moment and they have paid for the entirety apartment. all i could do was nothing. you had the one place. >> the secret for me happened to fall into that world with a group of very funny people, main
12:03 am
funny. they could have earned their living with jokes but they didn't. these are exception interesting characters, i think. >> rose: ryan crocker, tom friedman and whit stilliman when we continue. >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look. >> rose: additional funding provided by:
12:04 am
>> and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with the president in europe trying to deal with two crises, the threat of russia in ukraine and the threat of isis in iraq. a video emerged of german es steven sotolff being beheaded, the second american hostage to be executed in two weeks. they have increased pressure on president obama to make more decisive action. the president addressed the situation earlier today in alstonia. >> whatever these murderers think they will achieve by
12:05 am
killing americans like steven, they have already failed. they failed because like people around the world americans are repulsed by their barberrism. we will not be intimidated. their acts unite us to stiffen and take the fights against these terrorists. and those who make the mistake of harming americans will learn we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served. >> rose: joining me now from tax a and m university is ryan crocker he's the dean of the school of government and public service at texas a&m. he's a former united states ambassador to iraq, syria and afghan staw. from washington tom friedman a pulitzer prize winning columnist for the "new york times." his ready column is ready, aim, fire, not fire, ready aim. i'm pleased to have both of them on this program at this important time. thank you november coming, tom in washington and ryan in texas. ryan let me begin with you. you have said that the rise of isis presents the greatest
12:06 am
threat to the united states national security since 9/11. let's assume that's true for a moment. what should we do? >> i think we need to take a number of interrelated steps. first we need to step up the tempo of air strikes in iraq, and we need to introduce them into syria as soon as we've got verified targets. isis embraced the border between iraq and syria. we should take them up on it. secondly, we've got to have a political sense, if you will. we've got to be in overdrive with the iraqis to help them form an inclusive government that will bring the sunnis back into coalition with the kurds and the shi'a and present a common front on the ground to isis. third, we need to be also in
12:07 am
overdrive on forming a regional and international coalition. we've got some opportunities coming up with the nato summit tomorrow and friday. second kerry and hagel will be traveling to the region. this isn't just our problem, this is a problem for the world and the world needs to step up to it. there are some things i think we shouldn't do. i think we really have to be careful about even the perception of an association with iran. that will be highly problematic for our sunni allies and likely to cause the iraqi sunnis to withdraw even further from the process. similarly we've got to be very clear that we are not intervening in syria in support of the assad regime. we interfere for a grave threat
12:08 am
to our own national security. >> rose: you seem to correct me if i'm wrong to a threat to our national security. how do you see the moment and what should we do? >> well, the point i was making this morning was simply that isis today cannot threaten the american homeland. that was simply the point i was making. so that meant for me that we have time to sit back and design the very kind of strategy that ryan's talking about. and as he laid out, this is really complicated and has to be done in a thoughtful and delicate way. first of all, it requires a platform in a sense a political platform that we can stand on to launch military operations again. before you sat down in the chair, charlie, ryan and i were reminiscing about being in beirut together 32 years ago during the lebanonese civil war. and one of the things i learned
12:09 am
from that experience was watching the marines come into lebanon and one of the conclusions i drew from that experience is when you have no political center then everyone is aside. and the minute you intervene in beirut, 30 years ago when there's no political center, the marines became another side. in fact the lebanonese used to call them the american militia. and what ryan's suggesting and what i was suggesting in my column today is that without an iraqi in effect national unity coalition of sunnis, kurds and shiites we will be fighting for that, unity and pluralistic future not fighting on beof the shiites or let alone the shiites backer iran. without that national unity platform intervening effectively in the isis problem in a way that will create a basis for some kind of political framework to be in place after we would
12:10 am
leave, after the intervention would be over, without that platform, you really are going to have a problem. that's why this is so difficult. the only thing i was reacting to this morning is that isis doesn't pose an immediate strategic threat to the american homeland, therefore not that we have years to deal with this problem but we have time to think this through because this is really complicated. >> rose: it seems to me that you both articulating the point of view of the president of the united states. why am i wrong about that, ryan? >> i hope you're not wrong. what all of this takes, what tom and i have described in slightly different ways is one key thing. american leadership. i hope very much the president when he goes to wales is going to articulate what's at stake here, why there's got to be an
12:11 am
international coalition and again a process of forming it and of leading it. so i hope we're in complete sync but so far we haven't seen that american leadership yet. it starts with a vision and it's followed by a plan. we need both, we need to know. i would take exception with tom on one thing. i think isis today is stronger, better armed, better funded and more experienced than the al-qaeda osama bin laden that brought us 9/11. there are thousands of them who have western passports, including americans. so i certainly wouldn't bet the capitol building that they are unable at the present time to carry out an operation against the american homeland. it was chilling for all of us beheading of jim foley and
12:12 am
steven sotloff. it's the same etiology, just a lot more capability. >> rose: tom, where do you think the president is? >> well you know, i think ryan's point about kind of forceful leadership on this issue is valid. i think that what he's been focused on is that without a, again, a kind of political coalition there of sunni shiites and kurds that can form the political backbone and foundation for any american intervention we not only become either the shi'ite air force or iranian air force but after we leave, anything we achieve militarily would not be
12:13 am
sustainable. there would not be political framework to fill it in a sense. whatever sweep away of isis. and so i think that's what he's wrestling with, and i could glean myself. >> rose: as you pointed out, tom, in today's column i think. as for iran, if we defeat isis it will be the third time since 2001 that we defeated a key sunni counter balance to iran, first the taliban then iran and now isis. it's a reason to do in a way that does not detract us from the fact that iran's nuclear program also needs to be diffused otherwise it could undermine the whole global non-proliferation region regime and that's tricky. ryan, the interesting thing about this is that the recent advances against isis have included iraqi militia that have been funded in the past by iran.
12:14 am
iran seems to have a stake in this and a big time stake. >> and that's why i think as tom and i have both pointed out, we have got to be extremely careful not to look like an ally of iran or their pretty awful selection of militias. i think we do that as tom and i have both suggested, by ensuring that there is a solid iraqi political foundation that includes sunnis, shi'a and kurds. i think they're symbiotic. i think when the iraqis see us swing into action against the common enemy it's going to help their political process. i would underscore, you're not going to get that political foundation by leaving it to the iraqis to do themselves. we're a hard wired into the system, it only works when we're
12:15 am
fully and heavily engaged, that's why secretary kerry's visit was owe important and it's going to take continued engagement. i know the whitehouse has been working the phones. they're going to have to keep at that to get that necessary foundation. >> rose: tom, your column says ready aim fire not fire ready aim. do i detect and i'm trying to get at how people can understand what we can do mao -- now and . ryan seems to say we can't wait for these foundations to develop. there is a military necessity now and we have to act on that premise. >> i don't disagree. that's why i used accompany in conjunction with and the two go together. when people see us put skin in the game and lead, they will respond to that. but it is tricky because there is the point where they will also say we'll hold your coat. and that's why it's got to be
12:16 am
really in tandem. i'm all for hitting isis targets in iraqi for that matter in syria. i think it's, they should have no sanctuary. but i want to make sure we do that always in conjunction with them also doing the political and military equivalent on their side because their ability to have a jury responsibility and not make the hard political choices is expansive and you only need to ask the former u.s. am bass -- ambassador to iraqi about that. >> rose: how do we define our relationship with him in terms of what our policy has been over the last couple years? ryan. >> well, i said from the beginning that simply saying that assad must go isn't a policy. the fact of the matter is assad
12:17 am
wasn't going three years ago and he's not going today. that said, it is a pretty horrible regime. tom and i both know it, i spent three years there. i think we do have to make clear on any decision to intervene militarily in syria that we are in no way supporting the syrian regime in this and we can catalog their sins. that would be a good idea. we are defending our own national interest against a mortal enemy. now that said, i think if we are able to degrade isis in syria to some significant degree, the primary beneficiary would likely be more moderate elements of the sunni opposition. isis has done more damage to them frankly than he's done to
12:18 am
assad. it could also create a climate in which many who stand with assad not because they like him, they don't. they feel the alternative is worse if they no longer saw isis as that mortal threat to them. you can see a dynamic developing within the regime community that could make change possible, could make negotiation possible and why not be wildly optimistic. could make a settlement possible, we sure don't have those circumstances now. >> rose: tom. >> i don't feel myself, charlie, i'm going to defer to ryan on that one, that i have a good grasp of the internal dynamics inside syria right now but i know one thing is necessary, surely not sufficient. and that is, you know, if you're going to be in this game, you got to be in to win. and you cannot be recognizing borders against an enemy that doesn't recognize borders itself.
12:19 am
and so i think once we do feel we have political allies in the region, to work with us in tandem, you got to take the fight to them. you got to hurt them and you got to hurt them wherever they are. >> rose: this is what i can't get beyond. when do we have, when are we confident we have political allies in the region. what is the necessary point that we reach before we do everything we can to attack isis without troops on the ground but attacking isis and in conjunction with other forces on the ground. what's necessary now and what is the danger of waiting? >> well bear minimum would be an iraqi captain, an iraqi government which i understand they're still forming. >> rose: what do you think of the new prime minister? >> tbd, charlie. he comes from the same party as maliki. ryan probably knows him, you should ask him. >> rose: ryan? >> i do know him, not well.
12:20 am
he's out of the party and i see nothing to suggest he doesn't support their ideology but he doesn't want to repeat the same mistakes maliki made. i would be carbonly all mystic and they have influence is going to be essential to that process. they will not get it done on their own. again i would argue this is complicated. you really can't have a sequence of events. you have to move on multiple fronts, militarily and politically at the same time. i've argued that military action is going to foster political process, not hinder it. the sunnis have been in the forefront of begging for active military intervention. i talked to people out in anbar
12:21 am
who have been fighting isis since the spring, and they're afraid they're going to lose ramadi, the capital of anbar unless we do more and do it quickly. so the one thing that iraqi seems to be able to agree on at this point is american military action is pretty important. you've got to galvanize the region. now king abdullah had a statement that we should repeat back to him when he says that isis will be in europe this month and the united states the month after. well, okay, your majesty, let's get on with it together. >> rose: is this in a broader way a defining moment. i mean, i know secretary kissinger's got a new book coming out about sort of the sense of world order, but not so much that point but a finer point about how decisive this as
12:22 am
a moment in terms of that will influence the rest of the middle east, history in the same way say that the end of world war ii did. i don't want to stretch this too far but you both know too much not to ask the question. >> if i could take a shot at that, i think it can be a defining moment and that definition could run either way. what will define the moment in my view is the strength and the capability of american leadership. are we going to show the same kind of leadership we did after world war ii and shape a post cold war order. or are we going to sit back and let the centrifugal forces take over the process. charlie, one of the reasons this is such a mess is our friends in the region, are all over the place.
12:23 am
the saudis and qataris are backing different factions and different fights. the uae is on one page with egypt, turkey is on another page. i think there's a reason for that and the reason is, we have not exercised the kinds of sustained regional diplomacy to get everybody on the same page. i look at what we did in the first floor with george h.w. bush. a regional coalition including of all thing a syrian division. and an international coalition. that would not have happened without extremely strong and sustained presidential leadership. that's what we need now. i think the future of the region and our own security pivots on whether that's deployed and how it is managed. >> i think there's one difference between the 1991 gulf war coalition which i got to see assembled from the back of
12:24 am
secretary of state baker's airplane. and today. and it is a problem that obama has differed from george h.w. bush and his predecessors. and that is they were still dealing with hard states, solid states. so much of what obama is dealing with are states that have come unstuck. and so you aren't just required to kind of lead them that right direction. there's an element almost of having to build their coherence. and that's where i think you know, why this is a defining moment, charlie, is that you know, we are basically seeing the end of, it is the real end of world war i and the ottoman empire. this is made of different community sects, tribes and religious but it is a region that has lacked pluralism.
12:25 am
so its pluralistic nature has been managed by the ottoman empire and british and french and by iron-fisted kings and dictators. pluralistic nature is handed down with iron fist. there's no ottoman empire, no british and french and fewer and fewer kings and dick -- dictators. it can only be managed horizontally now by the constituent communities. this is what's playing out in iraq, kinding a way to write their own social contract how to live together in a pluralistic way. that's the great challenge that's not only true for the middle east, i think it's going to be true globally. it makes you a, appreciate our own pluralism and we only need to look at ferguson, missouri to know we're still a work in progress. but the fact we have twice
12:26 am
elected a black man whose middle name is who seen, his father was a muslim to defeat a woman and run against a mormon that is something so far from so many other countries around the world but it's that kind of pluralism that's going to be required to manage this region. it's not going to happen over night or any of our lifetime but it can no longer be managed from the top down. isis is what happens when you have a pluralistic region without pluralism that can't write a social contract and one group completely goes to the lunatic fringe. we had to pull that back but it can only be done by the other groups coming together and writing that kind of horizontal social contract for how to live together as equal citizens and that's going to be really hard and as ryan said it's going to be necessary but not such ingredient is going to be
12:27 am
american leadership. >> i would just echo that. none of that is going to happen without american leadership. i would also agree it's going to take more than that, it's going to take what that leadership brings in terms of buy-in from others. and it's going to take something that we always have in very short supply, strategic patients because as tom says this is going to be decades and we have to stick with it because you don't get the kind of pluralism that tom talks about and we develop painfully in this country without a lot of engagement and a lot of patience. >> rose: it seems to me also as you talk about american leadership and you talk about dealing with nation states versus non-nation states as we're dealing with here, that the sunni shi'a difference is out in the open and is being thought harder than i've ever seen it before. it is so clearly and it's also now reflected in two nation states engaged in a battle for
12:28 am
influence in the region on the one hand and iran shi'a and saudi sunni and it becomes more difficult. i also wonder and i ask this as a question. does president obama who came to end war and conflict in the middle east and in afghanistan, does he have the kind of mind set that wants to exert this kind of leadership even if he recognizes it's true because of some sort of essential mind set he has about how america has gotten mired down in the region too often before. tom? >> i think the legitimate critique from my point of view of obama on all of this is that he came to office, he ran on getting out of iraq, getting out of afghanistan. he won a mandate in effect to do
12:29 am
that. but his mind set was all about getting out. it wasn't about getting out in a certain way, in a certain context that would leave something truly sustainable behind. he made homage to that, he tipped his cap to it but basically he wanted out and i think that you know, historians will debate hard and long about whether we got out in the right way at the right time and now that's one reason we are being sucked back in. >> rose: reluctantly so. tom, you argued often in many columns i read that we needed a lot of nation building back home and that's probably where the president's head was. >> absolutely and mine too. i have sympathy with it. we spent $2 trillion on this project in afghanistan and iraq, not to mention the lives of iraqis, afghans, americans and others. and their schools that aren't
12:30 am
being built and roads not being built because sunni and shiites are fighting who is the proper heir from the profit mahmoud from the late 17th century. i identify to some degree with that. it's finding the right balance in a world that's now so contacted where what happens there gets feld here. >> rose: ryan. >> i agree with much of what tom said. what we've learned all too painfully is that you don't end war simply by leaving the battlefield. other people take it over. and you know, i think what we're looking at in iraq reflects decisions that were made in 2010, and 2011. those are the consequences we had to date. look, charlie i was in the middle east, almost four decades. i learned maybe two things worth
12:31 am
passing on, they're real simple. the first is be careful what you get into. if you're talking about a military intervention because it can have all kinds of unintended consequences. 30th and 40th order consequences that you can't plan for if you do any planning at all. and the second thing i learned is, be just as careful over what you propose to get out of. the process of disengagement can have consequences as grave as those with intervention. and i would suggest to you we didn't do very well in iraq in either case. >> charlie let me just add, these are ryan's and very good ones, what he's learned in his four decades there. and i've been in and out of his offices out there for four decades, so i've learned two things too. the thing i've learned is that the middle east only puts a smile on your face when it starts with them. when it starts with them.
12:32 am
that is when they want it. camp david started between israels -- and it was called oslo because palestinians got together a year before we found about it and anbar had to start with iraqi sunni tribes men wanting a different future. when it starts with them, when they have ownership we can amphi and we need to and must amplify. the other things i learned in 40 years there is that hugh mill information is a powerful force. there's just enormous sense of being left behind. and frustration that leads to that is aberrant like isis and to create a context where they can feel successful where young people can feel they can realize
12:33 am
their whole potential which to me what was the arabing spring, where they lived in context they can't realize their full potential and that's central to our policy there. those are the two things i've learned. >> rose: tom friedman. >> tom makes a great point on humiliation for a lot of good historical reasons, a sense of humiliation is deeply rooted in the middle eastern psyche. the outburst of that of course is respect, and as we move forward, i hope we move forward, we need to keep that up front and central. to be aware of the legacy of humiliation and of the importance of dealing with middle easterners on the problems with respect. >> rose: what i hear coming out of this conversation are three words one, respect, humiliation and leadership. >> four words. and ownership.
12:34 am
>> rose: and ownership. >> they need owners too. >> rose: respect, ownership, leadership and humiliation. often on this program at this table people write me and say i wish that's the conversation that could be heard at the whitehouse. i don't know what the president's hearing, but i thank you for allowing the american public to hear this conversation at this time. both of you have my deepest thank you. >> thank you, charlie. >> thank you, charlie. it was a pleasure. >> rose: whit stilliman is here, he's a writer and director. he's been described as the wasp woody allen in the dickens of too much inner life. in our four films he's focused on the manners of the young privileged class. his latest project is a pilot for amazon. it is called the cosmopolitans. it follows a group of young american expatriates as they search for love and friendship in a foreign city. here is a look.
12:35 am
>> first this is the because he has trouble concentrating. >> not able to work. >> i can't work either. >> it's getting the rabbits. >> no. >> i'll consider it. >> you're just killing time until he finishes. >> not, not exactly. >> when you say it was wonderful with frederic, when was that. >> no, she said she had been one. >> when was that, the wonderful part. >> in miami. he immediately wanted me to move to paris to live with him. >> i think that's true. it's a serious break up in the atlantic ocean can be very helpful. >> what about the -- >> i don't know, i haven't tried it. >> rose: i am pleased to have whit stilliman back at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: tell me about this. what's the idea here and how did you come to do it for amazon
12:36 am
rather than someone else? >> well amazon, i had a relationship with them since one of the first things they did. they were using that as a template for other film makers to do. they called me up and wanted a story set in paris. i had the material and i told them the experiences i had. the first three films i made were like the only interesting experiences i had before i moved to paris. and then moving to paris because suddenly i was among amazing interesting people and this is a of that. >> rose: you kept pitching films to be made as paris with setting and you kept saying nobody wants to see a story in paris. >> i was cut off before that. my agent said no network, no tv company will set a story abroad. and i came back around 2008 and needed a job. i needed work and i had some
12:37 am
good stories and i pitched one to one of the big tv production companies. and the idea was we said we'd take those past characters and put them in a nightclub. >> rose: nobody told this to woody allen have they. >> no. he's done a great job. i still had the experience trying to make films over there, wherever i went woody allen had already spent their money. they had all this money for cinema and they changed the rules. an american can no longer be the director. >> rose: if they give the money to a film production company an american cannot be the director. woody's ruined it for people. >> he's, he's ruined it for people. >> rose: that's how he got the movies made. >> it's fantastic. i admire the way he's been able to do that. and he's been productive. >> rose: woody has a business now. >> every which way. >> rose: so what is it about paris for you? other than it's so conducive to a life-style that you find so comfortable. >> well, i was brought there, i
12:38 am
was brought there by someone else, and once i was there, it's very good writer's town. it's not an accident, become when hemingway and fitzgerald and other people liked being there. i guess the prime time for those expatriates was before the 29 crash. fitzgerald and hemingway in the 20's. and still to this day, for instance different writer directors will be over there, tom mccarthy, wes anderson. it's just a really good place to write. the life is conducive to working several times a day to keep plugging at your writing. and then you can take off and be with friends in cafes in the evening. >> rose: you say this film has no agenda. >> yes. i thought my other films each had a little bit of an agenda. people resisted them it's understandable because they're trying to convince people of
12:39 am
something. so barcelona was trying to convince people to go easier on americans abroad. and metropolitan was trying to sort of humanize a class that normally people would despise. i can't remember the end was but i'm trying to tell stories about characters. >> rose: talking about the casting you got adam brody who was in dam sells in distress. >> he plays a fellow over there trying to write and do it projects. >> rose: who else. >> kerry was in damsels. she's the girl in that scene. i was able to get khloe to be in it. at first she was unavailable because she had another tv show of which she was the star but we kept asking and she found a way to come over even though she's doing this other show. and now i think that there's a strong possibility she'll be a regular on our show.
12:40 am
one foreign actor from sweden who plays this mysterious host of the party in the pilot. freddy who plays fritz and an italian actor on this scene who is john carlo's son. he's interesting because he went in another career path. he was a camera man doing special effects and things like that and scale to acting late but he's really great to have onset. >> rose: the deal with amazon is they will test this 20 minute pilot you gave them. >> yes. >> rose: if in fact it tests well or whatever they're looking for, then they'll give you a commitment to make ten episodes or something like that. >> yes. i think it's the situation now where they cut it back to maybe six episodes of the first season and six episodes would be really manageable for us. i wouldn't have to hire lots of writers to work on that. i think it's a combination of how they really neal -- kneels
12:41 am
about the shows themselves how the public reacts. we're hoping to get enough attention so they feel obliged to go with it. >> rose: what stories do you want to tell about us? >> well they're asking me. i'm supposed to turn in a bin for -- a bible for this series and i'm reluctant because i have no bright ideas of characters and scenes and talking to each other. in film and tv there's a tendency. they always want a summary what you're going to do before you've done it and i feel that leads to clicheed formulaic ideas at least for me it does. i don't know what the stories will be. i know this group of people and they're really an interesting group of people. i've been fortunate twice making films about g people that i know well who are very funny. so the secret for me metropolitan was happened to fall into that world, the dead party world with a group of very funny people, major funny. they could have earned their living with jokes but they
12:42 am
didn't. and i was able to kind of have those characters. and this is true too with the cosmopolitan, these are exception interesting characters i think. >> rose: from things i have read, the cosmopolitan has a mood rather than other qualities of a film. rather than the character, it has more a mood. >> it does have that. i think it has characters too but it definitely has a mood. >> rose: what's the mood? >> well, i think it's something that is through what i like to call the nostalgia presence. looking at our daily lives particularly at nighttime, it's more romantic at nighttime. looking at a way so that okay it's not a fitzgerald novel but there is something about the fairy dust magic of those romantic visions that we can have today. so it's contemporary but it has that sort of mood of
12:43 am
romanticism. >> rose: people think of you when they think of ivy league and they think of the leaders, and you strongly reject that. >> well i think some of that is the accident of the first film being about that very rarefied world. even those characters are only in that world for seven days and then they go on and do more normal things. but yet i guess i'm kind of within a fish bowl so i'm not seeing a fish bowl exactly so maybe the people outside are more accurate than i am. >> rose: just to go back to cosmopolitan for a second. here's a clip. >> some people kill to have this. >> you didn't even see it in front of you. >> it is truly amazing. >> hey, you think it's -- >> no. the details, they are to write it any moment and they have paid
12:44 am
for the use of the entire capital. all i could do was nothing. but you had the one place. ♪ >> the theme of the mopolitans is essentially romantic heart break. in this first episode we have two heart broken characters. there's hal whose been dumped e claims 17 times his friends claim 30 times by the girl he's in love with. this girl moved to paris and the guy on the cliff doesn't feel comfortable having her in the apartment. he's going to take a job and rented the apartment out from under her. and so she's really sad and in addition to that there's also
12:45 am
the thing people go through. they think that they're no longer going away to summer camp and feeling lonely and crying and writing parents letter. they think they'll never encountered loneliness. august comes along and everyone knows you're out and you really confront the thing of total loneliness because there's no one around. and it's the kind of thing of snow balls like not bad no one's around for two days but if you're stuck in complex people lose their bearings. >> rose: it's about love and love lost. >> there's a vawng -- song that's a theme seem the broken hearted which is one of my favorite songs. it's a great theme for movies. >> rose: why do you call it broken hearted. >> i like having things with a different name.
12:46 am
you change the name. >> rose: who sang the broken hearted. >> i think it was jimmy -- two brothers one was from the tellations. i think it's jimmy who did the broken hearted. we have a wonderful version that joan osborne sang for us. she did a live version for the documentary standing in the shadow of motown about the funk brother, the instrumentalists, studio musicians. it's a live version but it's not available. she sang it for us and did part of it in french. we have this cool bilingual version sung by joan osborne. trying to get amazon to release it as a single. >> rose: will they? you don't know. take a look. this is another clip. this is when vicky and obrey talk about their fellow. >> you're not dating them. >> why. >> it's kind of an ugly word but aren't they old enough to start putting things together which is
12:47 am
their life. did they really come all the way to paris to meet albuquerque. isn't from somewhere like that, san diego or phoenix. they're so local. people have roots. what is sad about the civil war. do you have any answers? you're here now. i say it's all about to end. i don't know, never. >> rose: your dad was a lawyer. >> yes. but he was mostly a politician. >> rose: exactly, he certainly is and was at princeton. >> he was at harvard. he wanted to go to princeton but his father wouldn't let him because princeton wouldn't play harvard when there was a black man on the team.
12:48 am
he told me if i went to princeton my father wouldn't pay the tuition and that's why he went to harvard. >> rose: how did he become a politician. >> he's political at harvard. the last communist president at the harvard union. >> rose: the last -- >> yes. he was in jack kennedy's class and he was very strongly for kennedy and organized his campaign in new york state. and then he went to work for franklin deleanor roosevelt, jr. in the commerce department. fdr, jr. was, he understood commerce. my father worked for him. and prior to that when i was born in washington he was working as fdr, jr.'s legislative aide as a congressman. >> rose: fdr, jr. helped jack kennedy get elected in west virginia, played a powerful role because hubert humphrey was a
12:49 am
powerful opponent. >> very powerful. quite dirty. >> rose: being a lawyer never appealed to you. >> i was going to do exactly that but i was failing in my harvard interview, my first harvard interview and the guy was totally bored with what he was saying. and i was saying i don't really want to do this. i don't want to just do exactly what my father did. i would like to try to write a novel or write novels. so that failed, and so i thought -- >> rose: falling upward. >> failing upward. that was a great period of tv comedies in my book, mary tyler moore, sanford and son, bob new heart show, bob reiner, he became my teacher in film. i thought that was great. if you don't have the courage to be a novelist you could write for tv comedies and finally i have a tv comedy out. >> rose: some have said i don't remember friends you see the world through the prism of
12:50 am
the great gatsby. >> i think it's through paradise because it's sort of juvenile and -- >> rose: so all the characters in your novel not simply romantic. >> i mean i think you can wear those glasses and it's glasses i prefer to have on which looks through the world at kind of a romantic lens. i think that the best model for a lot of us were working in this area because i think there are other film makers doing something parallel is salinger because salinger brought comedy into the equation. so there's sort of romanticism in comedy. in fitzgerald it's purely -- i think salinger is more the person we want to sort of steal from. and of course the master is woody allen. >> rose: what do you learn from watching and reading woody allen. >> it's just so enormous his influence. he's created a whole space a whole atmosphere we all exist in so we're not really aware of all
12:51 am
the influence because he kind of created a whole sense. >> rose: so tell me about your future. how do you see the future. let's assume this series works well which looks like it does. >> i want to do the next six episodes of this and i have a project to do with sandra miller. >> rose: are you writing something about love and friendship. >> it's called love and friendship. we've taken the material from her unpublished in her lifetime manuscript lady susan. and adapted it for film. and hoped to be shooting that in beautiful locations in ireland. >> rose: you think jane austin's the greatest writer you know? >> from my point of view she's the writer i most admire. >> rose: because? characters? >> i think her humorous humanity, her way of portraying different character types and the action between the character
12:52 am
types in a moral, she's very extremely moral. and enlightening way and funny way. >> rose: take a look at this. this is something called inside look. this is a teaser to attract people to your project. just to show you behind the scenes as well as a clip that's come out of the film. >> that's your girlfriends come home. >> why wouldn't be. we live there, we're parisian. >> on the film called the last days of diskiwi kept in touch over the years. well i have some thing i'm working on in the future would you like to work together again. of course. this i chicago is one of the more glamorous characters i've gotten a chance to play. >> my gosh. she's french. >> here i am in paris shooting with whit. and funny american kids. >> terrible. >> really just a play boy.
12:53 am
>> i play aubrey lee from alabama. >> what's your name. >> aubrey. >> i like it. >> and they take her under their wing. >> a serious break up in the atlantic ocean can be very helpful. i don't know i haven't tried it. >> i play the character jimmy. hopeless romantic. definitely romantic. >> what an angel. >> i have an italian straight boy. >> go, get out. and do it. >> how do you know you're bringing so many people. >> the moment we are shooting a
12:54 am
scene in the apartment every day apartment or house or whatever. >> you have to continue. >> you're not dating any of them. >> no, we just met. >> well the sky's an ugly bird but. >> watching it on your television if you can't watch it on your television you watch it on your computer. >> it's crazy that they also put crazy out of love. >> you can find me and the other characters and actors in the cosmopolitans on amazon. >> rose: you want to see the cosmopolitans you go to >> yes. >> rose: good luck. >> thank you for having me. >> rose: for early episodes sit us on-line at and
12:55 am
captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
12:56 am
12:57 am
12:58 am
12:59 am
1:00 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on